This opinion will be unpublished and

may not be cited except as provided by

Minn. Stat. § 480A.08, subd. 3 (1996).

STATE OF MINNESOTA

IN COURT OF APPEALS

C2-96-1570

State of Minnesota,

Respondent,

vs.

Eric Dwayne Little,

Appellant.

Filed December 17, 1996

Affirmed

Davies, Judge

Dakota County District Court

File No. K995575

Hubert H. Humphrey III, Attorney General, 1400 NCL Tower, 445 Minnesota St., St. Paul, MN 55101 (for Respondent)

James C. Backstrom, Dakota County Attorney, Charles E. MacLean, Assistant Dakota County Attorney, Dakota County Judicial Center, 1560 W. Highway 55, Hastings, MN 55033-2392 (for Respondent)

John M. Stuart, State Public Defender, Scott G. Swanson, Assistant State Public Defender, 2829 University Ave. S.E., Suite 600, Minneapolis, MN 55414 (for Appellant)

Considered and decided by Randall, Presiding Judge, Davies, Judge, and Forsberg, Judge.[*]

U N P U B L I S H E D O P I N I O N

DAVIES, Judge

Appellant claims the sentencing court abused its discretion by imposing a sentence that is roughly triple the presumptive term. We affirm.

FACTS

Appellant Eric Dwayne Little was arrested for and subsequently pled guilty to two felony counts: one for criminal sexual conduct in the first degree with reasonable fear of imminent great bodily harm in violation of Minn. Stat. § 609.342, subd. 1(c) (1994), and the other for kidnapping with safe release in violation of Minn. Stat. § 609.25, subds. 1(2), 2(1) (1994).

Appellant sexually assaulted the victim, a 29-year-old woman, while she was working late in an office complex. He threw a coat over her face, threatened her with a knife, and took her to another room where he twice raped her.

The sentencing court sentenced appellant under Minnesota's patterned sex offender statute, which requires imposition of a sentence that is at least double the guidelines presumptive sentence. The court departed even further from the guidelines, imposing the statutory maximum sentence of 30 years in prison. Appellant now challenges his sentence, arguing that the court erred in imposing this almost triple upward durational departure.

D E C I S I O N

A court shall commit a [patterned sex offender] to the commissioner of corrections for a period of time that is not less than double the presumptive [guidelines] sentence * * * and not more than the statutory maximum * * * .

Minn. Stat. § 609.1352, subd. 1(a) (1994). The statute alone provides sufficient authority to sentence up to the statutory maximum; no further findings are required. State v. Halvorson, 506 N.W.2d 331, 339 (Minn. App. 1993).

Appellant claims that his sentence should be reduced to 220 months--a double durational departure--because that is the typical departure given to patterned sex offenders. As support, he cites three cases: State v. Lonergan, 505 N.W.2d 349, 356 (Minn. App. 1993) (double durational departure), review denied (Minn. Oct. 19, 1993); State v. Barber, 494 N.W.2d 497, 499 (Minn. App. 1993) (double durational departure), review denied (Minn. Feb. 25, 1993); and State v. Bale, 493 N.W.2d 123, 124 (Minn. App. 1992) (slightly greater than double durational departure), review denied (Minn. Jan. 28, 1993).

The propensity for double durational departures in this area is undoubtedly linked to the mandate in the patterned sex offender statute of at least that degree of departure. But the statute itself plainly authorizes imposition of the statutory maximum sentence. Halvorson, 506 N.W.2d at 339. Further, a double durational departure is by no means the greatest departure ever given in patterned sex offender cases. For example, in State v. Christie, 506 N.W.2d 293, 301 (Minn. 1993), cert. denied, 510 U.S. 1201, 114 S. Ct. 1316 (1994), a case with less egregious facts than those at hand, the Minnesota Supreme Court affirmed a greater than triple durational departure in a patterned sex offender case. And in State v. Stirens, 506 N.W.2d 302, 306 (Minn. 1993), the supreme court reduced a patterned sex offender sentence from 180 months to 120 months--still roughly six times the presumptive sentence.

We hold that the sentencing court acted within its discretion.

Affirmed.

[ ]* Retired judge of the Minnesota Court of Appeals, serving by appointment pursuant to Minn. Const. art. VI, SS10.